Siri Siri Muvva (1976) – Retrospective

Film: Siri Siri Muvva / 35 MM / Eastman Color/ Release Date: 27 August, 1976

NOTE: (This is from the archives of Telugucinema.com, the retro article was first published on Jan 18, 2006.)

Story:

Hyma (Jayaprada), a mute girl since birth, is the first daughter of a schoolmaster (Satyanarayana). She loves to dance and thus learns classical dance along with Saritha (Kavita), her step-sister. Hyma’s step-mother does not like her excelling in dance and bars her from learning. Sambayya (Chandramohan), an orphan and street singer, likes to help Hyma and her father, as he has great respect for them. 

He is good at playing Dappu (a handheld drum). When Hyma’s marriage is fixed, he goes to the city and earns money for her anklets (muvvalu). When he returns, he realizes that she is getting married to a cheater. He stops it with the help of a girl whom he rescues in the city. Hyma’s father dies with a heart attack, and her step-mother and sister leave her and go to the city, as Saritha gets a chance to act in films. Sambayya takes Hyma to the city and tries to fix a good match for her when he realizes he is suffering from TB. 

How Hyma realizes her love for Sambayya and what happens next is the rest of the film.

About the film:

This is the first film in which Viswanath gave more importance to classical dance and music. Though he worked on similar lines in ‘Chelleli Kaapuram’, the theme of that film does not have as much importance to dance as ‘Sirisirimuvva’ had. 

The film was a huge hit and Viswanath tested the same formula in his other films that followed since. Some scenes in ‘Sirisirimuvva’ repeat in some other films too. An example is a scene in which the heroine realizes her love for the hero but the hero asks someone else to marry her (Subhalekha, say).

This is the only film for which Veturi Sundararamamurthy penned the dialogues (along with Jandhyala). Kavita debuted with this film as a step-sister to Jayaprada. Later again, she acted in Viswanath’s direction, in the lead role of the film ‘President Peramma’.

Ace cameramen S. Gopal Reddy, M.V. Raghu, and Sarath worked as assistants to cinematographer V.S.R. Swamy in the film. Great photography by V.S.R. Swamy elevated the mood of the film, and particularly mentionable is the scene in which Hyma dances in the moonlight (which was shot at mid-day, in fact!).

The film released in Deepak Mahal (Deepak) in Hyderabad and celebrated the silver jubilee there. The film was later remade in Hindi as ‘Sargam’ (1979) with Jayaprada made her debut in Hindi and Rishi Kapoor played the role of Chandramohan. Rajani Sharma played the role of Kavita; she later acted in a couple of Telugu films with Krishna. The song “DaphleevaalE Daphlee bajaa… ” is a quite popular number in this movie even today!

Chandramohan shares his experience with us

My first major film with Viswanath gaaru is O Seetha Katha. That was a good hit, which was later remade by Balachander gaaru with Kamal Hasan and Rajinikanth doing the roles of Devadas Kanakala and me. Devadas gaaru and I became very good friends while we were working together. Though the film was a huge success and I got a good name, I was not flooded with solo hero roles. I was doing some film in Rajahmundry at that time when Jayakrishna gaaru came to me one day and said that a producer from the nearby area is planning to make a film and that they are looking for an artiste who can accommodate all dates in a single schedule. I asked who the director was and what the story was. He informed me that the story is somewhat like Moogamanusulu but with a difference and narrated the story to me. I liked the story and said I’ll do the film. 

Then, he said they have plans for the film with Kamal, so that they can make a bilingual. So I felt a little disappointed. After a month again, Devdas came to me and said I might do the film and the new girl Lalitha Rani will be doing the heroine role. (Jayaprada appeared with her original name Lalitha Rani in her first film. It was Prabhakar Reddy who changed her name to Jayaprada with the film “Maaku Swatantram Vacchindi”). 

Though Devdas assisted Viswanath gaaru in the film, his name does not appear in credits as assistant director. The film was shot completely in and around Rajahmundry except for the songs that were done in Ooty. As I learned playing Dappu for the film “Rangula Ratnam”, it became easy for me to enact the role to perfection. For the song “raa digiraa…”, Viswanath gaaru explained the scene to me and gave me complete freedom to do the scene the way I wanted it. He gave instructions to Gopal Reddy gaaru to coordinate with me. So, whatever I did for that song was completely was my responsibility. But the outcome was good, and I was happy with that! 

The film was later dubbed into Tamil and there also it became a good hit. Though the producers are Lacchireddy gaaru, Chinaveerraju gaaru, and Bhaskar Reddy gaaru, it was Edida Nageswara Rao gaaru who looked after the project. They gave partnership to him, as he was looking after the whole concept. So, it’s unofficially his first film as a producer. He was there all the time looking the project over from the concept to the finishing and releasing of the film.

Jaya Pradha in Siri Siri Muvva

Edida Nageswara Rao speaks:

Yes, it’s unofficially my first film as a producer. The official producers approached me for a dubbing film. They got the rights of a Tamil film Venkateswara Kalyanam and asked me to help with the dubbing as I was doing dubbing for some films at that time. So, I helped them with that and also helped them to sell that film. They could make a profit of two lakhs in that film, and this encouraged them to make another film. As they are not aware of anything regarding films, they asked my help and offered me a partnership for my work. 

From the beginning, I wanted to do a film with Viswanath gaaru. I liked his films like Chelleli Kaapuram, Kaalam Maarindi, etc. – he touched a different subject every time. So, I went and asked him to work for this film. Initially, he approached DVS Productions with that script, but they were hesitant to take risks with this script. When he narrated to me, I liked it immediately and wanted to do it. Once the film was done, before re-recording, I showed the film to Katragadda Srinivas Rao gaaru (Navayuga Pictures distributor). 

After watching the film, he said it looked like a documentary film on dumb people and he didn’t like it much, but I was not disappointed with his feedback. Once the film was released and became a hit, a felicitation to the cast and crew of the film was arranged, in which he praised the film, and then I reminded him of his words earlier! …The film was made with less than ten lakhs and made huge profits for us. 

It had a silver jubilee run in many centers and we got money by selling the remake rights in Hindi and dubbing in Tamil too. For me, it was a good start to make the films I like. I feel so happy to have been a part of the team of this film.

Written by Sri Atluri

SONGS:

1. OorEgina vaaDE… maavoori dEvuDammaa
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, Pattabhi
2. Jhummandi naadam
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela
3. andaaniki andam ee puttaDibomma
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam
4. Raa digiraa divi nunchi bhuviki digiraa
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam
5.Evarikevaru ee lokamlO evariki eruka!
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam
6. NeelamEgha sariraa
Playback: P. Susheela
7. Bhavabandhaalanu tenchi bahudooraMgaa
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela
8.Gajje ghallumanTunTE gunDe
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam
9. Pilichaanu eduTa nilichaanu kOri kOri ninnE valachaanu
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela
10. gOdaarallE venneTlO gOdaarallE
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela

Cast: Chandramohan (as Sambayya), Jayaprada (as Hyma)
Satyanarayana (Hyma's father), Ramaprabha (Hyma's step-mother),
Devadas (as Bhadram), J.V. Ramanamurthy (Temple priest),
'Sakshi' Rangarao (Dance master), Allu Ramalingayya, 
Niramalamma, Phanikumari, Baby Varalakshmi, N.D. Lakshmi,
Kavita (debut), Ankineedu Prasad, Rambabu, Jitmohan Mitra, 
Lakshminarasapuram Raja
Story, Screenplay: K. Viswanath
Dialogues: Veturi Sundararamamurthy, Jandhyala
Lyrics: Veturi Sundararamamurthy
Music: K.V. Mahadevan
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela, Pattabhi
Concept Designer: Jayakrishna
Operative Cameraman: S. Gopal Reddy
Camera Assistants: Sarath, M.V. Raghu
Associate Director: Munjuluri Bheemeshwara Rao
Choreography: Pasumarthy
Art: Thota
Assistant: Thota Tharani
Production Executive: Edida Nageswara Rao
Camera: V.S.R. Swamy
Producers: Karri Lacchireddy, N. Bhaskar Reddy, N. Chinaveerraju
Direction: K. Viswanath

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